Home In Disarray

May 28, 2015

Momofuku Cornflake Crunch

Cornflake crunch
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Momofuku Cornflake Crunch (makes about 4 cups)

 

Ingredients:

5 cups cornflakes

1/2 cup dry milk

3 tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, use hands to crush cornflakes to a quarter of their original size.
  • Add milk powder, sugar, and salt, and toss lightly.
  • Add butter and toss to coat (the butter acts as the glue and will create small clusters).
  • Spread the cornflake clusters onto a parchment/silpat lined baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes-until they look toasted, smell buttery, and crunch when cooled slightly.
  • Cool completely before storing or using in a recipe.
  • Stored in an airtight container at room temp., it will keep fresh for 1 week; in the fridge or freezer, it will keep for about 1 month.
Posted in: Baking, Cooking, Food
May 28, 2015

Jimmy Dean Style “Hot” Pork Sausage

Jimmy Dean HOT Sausage copycat recipe
By

Jimmy Dean sausage is ubiquitous in many recipes that those in the cooking community aren’t necessarily “proud” to have made.  These include cheddar-sausage-bisquick balls,  queso dip utilizing Velveeta (I still don’t have a workable replacement for this yet), chiles, sausage, etc.  You can also cook it up and combine with taco meat, make into patties, or add to a pasta sauce.  Overall, it’s a versatile meat product, but as with any kind of commercially prepared sausage, the origins of the meat are dubious and the additional ingredients are somewhat shrouded in secrecy/full of unnecessary stuff.  There’s no reason why both corn syrup and sugar need to appear on the ingredients label, and what exactly are the “spices?”  Better to just spend a little time making your own sausage, out of actual food.  That’s my mantra – Why take a cheap and easy route when you can do it in way more time at a much greater expense? This recipe calls for MSG.  If you have adverse reactions to MSG, substitute salt, but otherwise, it’s yummy.  Just use MSG if you can.  It can be found in the spice or Asian foods section of the grocery store.  The brand of mine was Accent Flavor Enhancer.

Jimmy Dean HOT Sausage copycat recipe

Ingredients:

5lbs pork shoulder, cut into chunks small enough to fit your meat grinder’s feed tube

5 tsp kosher salt (16g)

1.25 tsp MSG (3 g)

1 Tb cayenne (9g)

1 tsp black pepper (1.8-2g)

1 tsp fresh or dried sage (1g)

1 tsp red pepper flakes (2.5g)

 

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients and chill thoroughly.  This can be left for up to a day in the refrigerator prior to grinding.
  • Set up your meat grinder with the small die, pull the sausage out of the fridge and get to grinding!
  • Once all of your meat has been ground, measure out 1 cup of very cold water(you can use any type of liquid here, but to stay true to style, use water.  If you’re up for an adventure, try a cheap beer like Coors or Budweiser.
  • Start mixing your sausage.  You can use your stand mixer, but mine always manages to get meat all up in the connection area, so I stopped using it.  I just use a stiff spoon or spatula.  The goal here is to get it a little gluey.  Pour in part of your water, mix it in, and continue adding water until it has been fully incorporated.  Once the sausage beings looking sticky, you can do a test bite.  Cook a little sausage in a pan and taste it for seasonings.  If it needs more of anything, it can be added at this point and mixed thoroughly.  Continue mixing and tasting until you’re satisfied.
  • Once you are happy with the flavor, you can get to the portioning part of this.  I decided to freeze it in 1 pound sections, as the Jimmy Dean stuff comes in 1 pound chubs and most recipes that use it call for it in 1 pound quantities.  I just vacuum sealed it and immediately stuck all 5 packets in the freezer.
Posted in: Cooking, Food, Low Carb
May 15, 2015

Garlic Aioli with an immersion blender

homemade garlic aioli
By

This is a quick, down and dirty rundown of my garlic aioli.  A more in-depth discussion of the various methods of assembly and ins-and-outs of the process can be found here.  This is how I go about making it on a regular basis.  It takes under 5 minutes from start to finish (including cleanup) and I get so many compliments on it, it even surprises me (and I freaking love this stuff).  A couple months ago friends came over for BLTs, and one of them said “I kind of just want to eat this on some toast without the lettuce, tomatoes or bacon.”  So she did.  Last night, another friend, having a little bit extra in her dish after dipping some incredible spot prawns in it asked it it would be weird to just eat it with a spoon. (It’s not.  Craig and I have both done it.)  Anyway.  People don’t seem to believe just how simple it is to make.  So I made a really low quality video of the process.

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

3 cloves garlic, run through a garlic press (microplaning them is also an acceptable alternative)

2 tablespoons acid – this could be vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, or whatever you have floating around

1 large pinch salt

1-1.5 cups avocado oil

 

Special equipment:

2 cup jar.  I prefer a wide-mouth pint jar, but a narrow mouth one works OK as long as your immersion blender fits in.

Immersion blender (Did you know you can get a vintage bamix for like $30 shipped on ebay?  Just sayin’.)

 

Instructions:

  • Get your egg out of the fridge. Put it in a bowl with hot water from the tap (you’re not trying to cook it, just to warm it up to room temp)
  • Spoon your mustard into the jar (this is not a science here, just get some mustard in there.
  • Get your garlic pressed or grated into the jar
  • Put your acid in the jar
  • Put your salt in the jar
  • Crack your egg into the jar
  • Get your immersion blender in the jar, and start it running to break and mix up the egg with everything else.
  • Start streaming your oil in, and get the blender going.  Allow the oil to go into the jar as fast as it wants.  The finicky streaming method isn’t necessary when using an immersion blender.  You can even fill your jar with oil and then start blending, but I find that this takes an extra 30 seconds to fill the jar and then blend. Doesn’t benefit me one bit.  Move your immersion blender up and down in the oil column to agitate and emulsify the oil.  My bamix’s chopping blade is faster than it’s whipping blade and generally results in a slightly stiffer mixture.  Your mileage may vary.

May 12, 2015

Paleo Orange Chicken

Paleo Orange Chicken
By

I am entirely aware that eating paleo is first and foremost about eating healthful, real food.  But everyone has cravings, and sometimes the best you can do is to make an unhealthy meal as close to healthy as you can get without totally sacrificing what’s at the heart of the dish.  This is that.  The base recipe is the Cooks Illustrated Orange Chicken which is incredible, but decidedly unpaleo. The whole recipe is pretty heavily adapted.  But it really does taste similar and there is far less oil waste and fuss, so there’s that!

This recipe is fairly time consuming for a takeout substitute, but I promise it’s worth it if you’ve been craving Chinese or want something to feed to a group of people or potentially finicky eaters.  Throw a pot of rice into the mix and it’ll satisfy even the fussiest of people.  I’ve doubled the original recipe because if I’m going to the effort and mess of making this, I am going to make a ton.  Feel free to cut in half.  I will suggest that if you have a pizza stone, heavy pan, or baking steel, make sure that this is in the oven and preheated.  It’ll facilitate the crisping of the coating.

Paleo Orange Chicken

Ingredients:

Marinade & Sauce

3lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs

1.5 cup chicken stock/broth

1.5 cup orange juice

Zest of at least 1 orange, finely grated using a microplane type grater

.75 cup vinegar – apple cider or white wine

.5 cup coconut aminos (or tamari if you’re very strict)

.75 cup “approved” sugar – I used a combination of maple syrup and honey

6-8 cloves garlic, grated, minced, or run through a press

2″ or about 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

.5 tsp cayenne (adjust up or down depending on how spicy you like it – this is middle of the road)

4 tablespoons (or .25 cups) tapioca starch

4 tablespoons (or .25 cups) cold water

 

Coating Medium

4-5 egg whites

2 cups tapioca starch

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp baking soda

 

Misc

.25-.5 cup avocado oil, chicken fat, coconut oil, etc.  Whatever high-heat oil works for you

2-3 lbs veggies – I used cauliflower, broccoli, and bok choy


Instructions:

Chop your chicken and make your marinade:

  • Cut your chicken thighs up into bite sized pieces.  I usually get 6-8 pieces per thigh, depending on size.
  • Combine chicken stock, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, coconut aminos, sweetener, garlic & ginger.  Whisk until sweetener is fully dissolved and everything is combined. This can be prepared up to 2 days ahead of time up til this point
  • Preheat your oven to 450F and prep your trays – Put enough oil/fat onto the trays to coat the bottom.  When I use chicken fat, I place the pans in the oven for a few moments to melt the schmaltz.
  • Measure out 1.5 cups of your marinade/sauce mixture and add it to your chicken. Refrigerate for 60-90 minutes, no longer or the ginger will begin making the meat mushy.

Cook your veggies and prepare your breading station

  • Cook your vegetables.  My favorite way to eat cauliflower is when it’s been roasted in a little chicken fat, so I did that with the cauliflower and bok choy, and steamed the broccoli.  The cauliflower should be just about done by the time your chicken is done marinating.  Cooked veggies can be reserved to a dish that can be either microwaved or popped back into the oven when you are getting ready to eat.
  • Drain your chicken in a colander, then pat dry with a paper towel.  Do not rinse.
  • Beat your egg whites in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  • Combine your tapioca starch, cayenne pepper and baking soda in a pie plate.
  • Make an assembly line.  Mine goes: Chicken> egg white> starch> greased pan

Coat and cook your chicken

  • This is messy.  It’s worth it. Try to work with one “wet” hand and one “dry” hand to minimize stickiness. Grab a handful of your “dried” chicken, and drop it in the egg white, mix around to coat, and then drop each piece (individually) into the starch mixture.  By now you’ve realized just how fine the starch mixture is and how it gets all over everything.  Don’t fight it, just live with it and then scrub your kitchen counter when you’re done.  Coat the chicken pieces in the starch mixture, and place in your greased pan. Do not allow the chicken pieces to touch each other.
  • When you’ve filled your pan (3lbs of chicken takes me about 3 pans usually), place it in your oven, directly on your pizza stone and allow to bake while you move on to the next pan.
  • After about 20-30 minutes has passed, check your chicken by pulling a piece or 2 up with tongs.  When it begins to release from the pan and has developed a bit of a crust on the bottom side, flip it over, rotate pans to allow the next pan to spend some time on the pizza stone.  The time it takes to cook this will vary wildly with different ovens, but I trust that you’re able to determine what the desired level of crispiness is.
  • Continue rotating chicken and pans through until all of the chicken has been cooked.

Cook your sauce

  • Put your remaining sauce/marinade mixture into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Combine your tapioca starch and cold water in a small ramekin and stir til dissolved and clump free.  Whisking the sauce, drizzle your starch mixture into the sauce and continue whisking until it has come back up to a simmer and thickened.  Remove from heat.

Assemble and enjoy!

  • Reheat your vegetables if necessary, and put them in the bottom of a shallow bowl.  Then top with about 1/8th of chicken, and pour some of the sauce over the top.

Paleo Orange Chicken

Paleo Orange Chicken

Posted in: Clean Eating, Cooking, Food, Paleo
May 8, 2015

Ginger Sage Breakfast Sausage

ginger sage breakfast sausage
By

Ok, so this stuff is delicious.  I have had a tenuous relationship with sausage casings in the past, but I have since made peace with not making stuffed sausages, and just being satisfied with making sausage patties  and using it as a loose sausage, not in casings.  And so we come to my ginger sage breakfast sausage, which is based on Michael Ruhlman’s version, but has been modified to suit my tastes.  It’s a little less salty (I don’t reduce the salt in recipes without serious consideration, but Rhuhlman has a very heavy hand with salt) and tweaked all of the ingredients until (at least to my palate) everything was more harmonious.  Please, feel free to adjust to your specific tastes.  These are great in breakfast sandwiches, or in paleo “sausage mcmuffins with egg.” This recipe does require the use of a meat grinder, but you can use one for all sorts of things.  Otherwise, you could always spring for pre-ground pork, but that kind of takes away part of the allure of having used distinguishable parts of the animal in your sausage (pre-ground meat kind of creeps me out).  And for your sanity (and the sake of consistency, I recommend the use of a scale.

ginger sage breakfast sausage

Ingredients(makes 80 1oz sausage patties):

5lbs fatty pork – shoulder/boston butt is preferred – cut into pieces small enough to fit down your meat grinder’s tube

29 grams or 1 oz salt

4 grams (or 2 tsp) black pepper

22 grams grated or pressed garlic

10 grams finely minced fresh sage

3 grams red pepper flakes

5o grams grated fresh ginger

 

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients except ginger and chill thoroughly.  This can be left for up to a day in the refrigerator prior to grinding.
  • Set up your meat grinder with the small die, pull the sausage out of the fridge, mix in your ginger, and get to grinding!
  • Once all of your meat has been ground, measure out 1 cup of very cold water(you can use any type of liquid here – I like wine in many sausages, but this is a little over the top in a breakfast meat)
  • Start mixing your sausage.  You can use your stand mixer, but mine always manages to get meat all up in the connection area, so I stopped using it.  I just use a stiff spoon or spatula.  The goal here is to get it a little gluey.  Pour in part of your water, mix it in, and continue adding water until it has been fully incorporated.  Once the sausage beings looking sticky, you can do a test bite.  Cook a little sausage in a pan and taste it for seasonings.  If it needs more of anything, it can be added at this point and mixed thoroughly.  Continue mixing and tasting until you’re satisfied.
  • Once you are happy, you can get to the portioning part of this.  I used my 1oz disher scoop on this batch.  As an aside, I have tried so many different ways to portion this sausage out, from handmade patties (always lumpy and inconsistent) to rolling it into logs and slicing into “coins” (creepily squared off edges – the patties look offputting).  This is definitely the least messy and simplest method in my opinion.  I’m feeling a little proud of myself for developing this method.
  • Scoop your portions out onto a silpat or waxed paper lined sheet pan, leaving space between each scoop.  Once your pan has been filled, place another sheet of waxed paper. (I really recommend using only waxed paper instead of silpats, it separated much more easily than the silpats did!) Then place a second pan on top and push down to flatten.  Line the top pan with waxed paper or silpat and then dish your next batch of patties onto that, top with another layer of waxed paper, then flatten with an additional pan. This should handle about half of your sausage.  You can do as many layers of this as you need.  I only had 3 sheet pans available for this ordeal, so I stuck with the 3 and refrigerated my additional sausage until the next day and did the whole process over.  When you remove the frozen sausage from the freezer, peel off of the liner, place in a freezer baggy, and put back in the freezer.
  • To cook: preheat a pan over medium-low heat (I like using 4/10) and cook just until the side starts browning a little, turn over, and cook until that side has browned as well.  The sausage should be thin enough with the sheet-pan method to cook fully in this time, but if it’s not, allow to cook over gentle heat until no longer pink in the center.

breakfast sausage portioning

May 8, 2015

Sous vide yogurt or crème fraîche

Sous vide yogurt
By

I know, this sounds ridiculous.  But I love my immersion circulator more than I can adequately describe in words (an interpretive dance would really be more fitting).  I don’t use it as often as I probably should, so when I am thinking of making things, coming up with a way to use the Anova is always in the back of my mind.  So when I decided to start making my own yogurt again, I realized that a sous vide setup is the ultimate way to produce yogurt, and was pumped to have come up with a new use for my second favorite appliance (my immersion blender ranks at #1).  Yes, yogurt is so simple that it hardly requires a recipe, however there are many folks that are either just not familiar enough with the process or are nervous about keeping milk that they plan to eat in the “danger zone” for many hours intentionally.  Let me assure you that if you practice clean food handling procedures, there is no need for concern.  All of your favorite fermented products rely on warm temperatures for the bacterial growth to make them taste delicious. (I’m lookin’ at you, cheese!)   So here’s what you need:

 

Ingredients and equipment for yogurt:

Immersion circulator

Glass Jar

Container large enough for your glass jar to be at least mostly immersed

Milk*

Fage yogurt**

*You can use conventional milk here and it will work fine, but I personally don’t understand going to the effort of making yogurt with standard milk when you can just buy premade yogurt for cheap.  Grass fed/organic/otherwise specialty milk is where this technique is particularly useful.  Finding grass fed yogurt is difficult to begin with, and incredibly expensive.

**You can use another brand of yogurt as long as it has live and active cultures, but in my experience, for whatever reason, your end result will be better with Fage.  After an initial batch, you can use starters from your previous batch of yogurt, but to begin with, I advise using Fage.  I often get it on sale for $1/tub.

 

Instructions:

  • Fill your glass jar most of the way up with  milk, leaving maybe 1/2 cup of room at the top. Screw the lid shut, but only finger tight.  Air may need to escape during the next step.  Ensure that the jar is not totally submerged. The lid needs to be out of the water.  In this particular container, I use an upside-down ramekin for quart jars and an upside down coffee cup for pint jars. Depending on your circulator, your container, and your jar, your mileage may vary.
  • Place the jar and the circulator in the container and set the temperature for 185 F.
  • Once the bath hits 185, start a timer for 30 minutes.  Once 30 minutes is up, remove the jar from the water bath and set it on a towel to begin to cool. (I like to use my handy-dandy canning jar lifter, but it’s not necessary.)  Keep the lid on.  Allow to cool to between 115 and 95 degrees.
  • Once the jar of milk cools, pour a little of it out into a very clean bowl, add in 1/4-1/2 cup of your yogurt, and stir to combine.  I use a fork to try to remove as many of the yogurt chunks as possible.  Once that mixture is smooth, pour it back into the jar and put the lid on.
  • Ensure that your bath is no hotter than 115.  If it is, pour some water out, replace with cool water, etc, what have you.  Basically, get your bath to between 80-115 degrees.
  • Put your jar back in, set the circulator for 110 degrees, and leave it for 8-12 hours.  I usually do this when I am going to bed.
  • After 8-12 hours has elapsed (the longer the time, the more tart the yogurt will be), pull the jar out of the bath and refrigerate.
  • To make Greek yogurt: once the yogurt has chilled, line a strainer with coffee filters, and spoon the yogurt out into the filter-lined strainer.  Set yogurt over a bowl (I like to use my 4 cup pyrex measuring cup) and allow to drain.  This can take between 30 minutes and 2 hours.  Once approximately half the liquid(whey) has drained out, scoop the yogurt (or peel the coffee filters off) and store it in a container for use.  You can either discard the whey, use it for making bread, or feed it to your dogs.  It’s full of all the same beneficial bacteria, so I always just feed it to the dogs.  They seem to like it.

Sous vide yogurt

Ingredients and equipment for crème fraîche:

Immersion circulator

Glass Jar(I like using a pint jar for this)

Container large enough for your glass jar to be at least mostly immersed

Heavy Cream

Buttermilk

 

Instructions:

  • Put about 1/4 cup of buttermilk in the bottom of your jar.  Fill the remainder of the jar to 1/2″ from the top with heavy cream.  Screw the lid shut, but only finger tight.  Air may need to escape during the next step.  Ensure that the jar will not be totally submerged in your vessel. The lid needs to be out of the water.  In this particular container, I use an upside-down ramekin for quart jars and an upside down coffee cup for pint jars. Depending on your circulator, your container, and your jar, your mileage may vary.
  • Set your circulator to 110F and place the jar in the bath.  Let it go for 8-12 hours.  I often do this before leaving for work or before going to bed, then remove once you return to your circulator.
  • Refrigerate jar for at least 6 hours.  Great substitute for sour cream and Mexican crema as well.
May 1, 2015

Momofuku Cornflake Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies

Momofuku cornflake cookies
By

These are as over the top as they sound. In case you don’t obsess over reading about food and cookbooks like I do, I will let you know.  Momofuku Milk Bar is the “sweets” faction of David Chang’s restaurant empire.  The head chef and part owner- Christina Tosi, is incredibly creative, and is so good at bringing some of the most over the top recipes to life. One of the hallmarks of a momofuku milkbar recipe is that for every “finished product,” multiple recipes must be made, and usually specialty ingredients have to be procured.  This is part of the fun, of course.  And if you follow my blog, you surely recognize my penchant for overly complicated recipes that require superfluous work and specialty ingredients.  When I first came across this recipe online a few years ago, and saw the photos, it was all I could think about.  I was obsessed.  Also, this particular recipe requires that you only make one recipe before the final recipe can be assembled.  Additionally, no ingredients that a fussy baker like myself wouldn’t have on hand *cough*milk powder*cough*. So I set to it.  The first portion of this is to make the cornflake crunch, which is essentially sweet, rich, and salty cornflakes – OR – the greatest take on granola to have ever existed (seriously, try mixing these into your yogurt one morning).  It’s fairly simple, and I always make a double batch, because there’s no such thing as too much cornflake crunch.

The cookies are fairly easy to make.  The momofuku recipe calls for an extraordinarily large cookie, which is good, but after extensive trial and error, I’ve determined that (at least in my oven), by the time the middle is set enough not to fall out of the cookie, the edges are too crispy to be pleasant, so I’ve cut it into thirds.  The cookies are still quite large by normal standards, but they’re manageable, and you don’t feel like you need to repent on the treadmill after eating one or two. Also, as a result of these being smaller, they need less cooking time and they don’t look as crazy as the originals.  But they are also chewy all the way through, instead of being crunchy on the outside.  Please note (as is visible in the photos below) that I doubled the recipe and it was more than my stand mixer could handle.  I had a huge amount of flour that ended up on a) the kitchenaid, b) my counter, c) myself, & d) my floor.  I had to replace the flour, and then go in with a spatula and ensure that everything had mixed evenly after I gave the mixer a break.  Unless you have a mixer capacity that is appreciably larger than 5 qt, I would recommend making 2 single batches of these.  Because… you know, they freeze well.  And they’re equally good raw and frozen as they are baked and warm.

momofuku cornflake cookies

 

 

Momofuku cornflake cookies

 

 

Momofuku Cornflake Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes around 50)

Ingredients:

2 sticks (equals 1 cup or 16 tbsp. or 8 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

3 cups Cornflake Crunch

2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

1 1/4 cup mini marshmallows

Preparation:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  • Add egg and vanilla extract and beat 7-8 minutes. Don’t skimp on this.  It makes a difference.
  • On low speed, mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until just combined (1 minute max.). Don’t step away from the machine/over-mix!
  • Scrape down sides and, still on low speed, paddle in the cornflake crunch and chocolate chips until just incorporated (30-45 seconds), then stir in the marshmallows as well.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.  Measure out 1 oz portions and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to 1 week.  Freeze what you do not expect to use in that time.  Can be baked directly from frozen.
  • Place 8 cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet (I find that parchment gives a better texture than a silpat in this situation) and bake at 375 for 9-12 minutes, rotating after 5 minutes.  Pull the cookies out when they still look pretty underdone.
Posted in: Baking, Cooking, Food